New fall break starting November 7 to ease student stress and improve mental health

By Katherine Cormack Posted: November 1, 2018 3:20 p.m.

Students take a moment to enjoy fall colours on the University of Regina campus.
Students take a moment to enjoy fall colours on the University of Regina campus. Photos by U of R Photography

A fall stroll outside the U of R’s Research Innovation Centre.
For the first time and as part of a two-year pilot, University of Regina students will have a short fall break—providing a much-needed breather and the opportunity to catch up on studies and start preparing for final exams. Fall break for 2018 starts on Wednesday, November 7 with classes resuming on Tuesday, November 13, after the Federal statutory holiday in observance of Remembrance Day.

“Acting on a suggestion from the Students' Union, we surveyed faculty, staff, and students for their input and came up with a bit of a hybrid model; it’s shorter than the spring break but seen by many as crucial for student success,” says James D’Arcy, Registrar at the University of Regina.

D’Arcy is encouraging students to take advantage of the time off to review their course outlines and ensure they are on track with their readings and assignments.

“Scheduling is a great way for students to be able to see the demands on their time ahead of time and strategize now in order to plan for competing demands and added stress,” says D’Arcy.

Helpful student resources are available from the Student Success Centre, faculties, departments or academic units, and the Dr. John Archer Library.

"It's great to see this URSU idea come to life! Thanks to University faculty, staff, students, and leadership for taking seriously our request for a much-needed fall break to help alleviate some of the mental health issues students have been experiencing," says Jermain McKenzie, Vice-President Student Affairs at URSU. "And now, of course, it's up us as students to make the most of the break to catch up on our studies...and, if we're lucky, our sleep!"

In order to track the benefits and refine the fall break pilot, D’Arcy will survey faculty, staff, and students in each of the two years. Depending on the survey data, he will take a recommendation to Executive Council to decide on making the fall break a permanent feature as is or adjusting to better suit the needs of the campus community.

All campus services will be available throughout the fall break. Regular exceptions in place for the Nov. 12 Federal statutory holiday.